This article outlines recent changes in workplace law relating to:
On 1 January 2012, new model work, health and safety legislation came into effect in New South Wales, Queensland, the ACT and the Northern Territory, and at the Commonwealth level.
The new laws attempt to streamline occupational health and safety regulation across the country by providing a consistent set of legislation, regulations and codes of practice for certain industries and occupations.
Importantly, the new laws introduced the following changes:
The Cleardocs HR Manual sets out the general occupational health and safety duties of employees of your business. There is no need to change your Cleardocs HR Manual to reflect the recent changes in the law.
You should, however, take this opportunity to review your occupational health and safety systems. In particular, officers in your business must exercise due diligence and check health and safety measures are appropriate, and are being implemented.
Since 1 August 2011, Victorian employers have been required to comply with a new duty to protect employees from discrimination.
The Victorian legislation states that discrimination occurs when a person treats another person unfavourably because of a personal characteristic or attribute protected by law. The person claiming to be discriminated against does not need to compare their treatment to how others are treated.
Employers are required to:
There is no need to update your Cleardocs HR Manual as a result of these changes to the law. The Cleardocs HR Manual:
Recent cases before Australia's employment tribunals have shown the value of having, and enforcing, a drug and alcohol policy. Fair Work Australia has found that in certain employment situations, being affected by alcohol is grounds for termination of employment. However, employers must act fairly when implementing the policy.
The Cleardocs HR Manual includes:
Employers should ensure that they train employees on the content of the policies.
For more information, contact Maddocks on (03) 9288 0555 and ask to speak to a member of the Employment Team.
Julian Smith is a partner in the Maddocks Commercial team.
Julian advises extensively in the following areas:
Julian advises clients ranging from public companies servicing the wholesale financial services market to high net worth individuals and their advisers.
Julian has been with Maddocks since undertaking articles in 2001.
The legal information and commentary on this site is general only. Documents ordered through Cleardocs affect the user's legal rights and liabilities. To assess their suitability for the user, legal accounting and financial advice must be obtained.
For more information, contact Maddocks on (03) 9258 3555 and ask to speak to a member of their team.